Dual-chamber Bottle pours memorable hot chocolate drink
by Rob Croft
Blow-molded containers with full-body, shrink-sleeve labels have invaded nearly every supermarket aisle. Their popularity loosely builds upon the principles of “bigger graphics are better” and “an ergonomic shape leads to a preferred physical package.”
Mix and simmer with some “voodoo” consumer research, the latest supplier offering and suddenly every marketer has got one of these packages.
But from a brand-building standpoint, this emerging “generic” can be bad news. The number of “Coffee Mate clones” has reached saturation point.
Marketers are pushing savvy structural packaging designers to deliver a strong point of difference with a configuration that is quite simply, more original and relevant to the brand.
Our “blue-sky” hot chocolate syrup concept—depicted in the illustration—shows how a really breakthrough design can be based upon a strong front profile and a keen label-panel shape.
The dual-chamber package dispenses chocolate syrup through an inverted closure in the bottle’s base and toppings—such as mini pink marshmallows—from a second container or cup molded from clarified, tinted polypropylene that “snaps” onto the top of the bottle.
The form language communicates the duality of the package with its two openings and twin grip points. Consumers can open and articulate both closures with one hand, like twirling a baton. Indeed, the creation of a premium hot beverage involves a cool, own-able hand gesture, in which the shape of the package is key.
The lower grip point serves as a pedestal that “floats” a pleasing oval label panel that doubles as a squeeze zone for dispensing the chocolate syrup.
Subtle ribs molded into the side of the bottle subliminally connote the dividing lines in a chocolate bar and provide a tactile sensation against the palm. The low-density polyethylene bottle bears a sparkly finish that mimics the look and texture of liquid chocolate.
This design demonstrates that a well-framed label panel and “cool” surfaces can compete against brands that choose to follow the path of shrink-sleeve packaging. As product managers are all too aware, the key to success often lies within the brand essence and product character.
The creation of a package that inherently builds product value and enhances the functionality of the offering, rather than engaging in on-shelf one-upmanship, can seem like a daunting task. But it can ultimately produce a more individual and meaningful packaging structure that others cannot easily duplicate. BP
The author, Rob Croft, is Managing Partner of Swerve Inc., specialists in 3-D brand design. Contact him at 212.742.9560 or firstname.lastname@example.org